Best Caliber for sheep hunting

CBH Australia

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yes it is the right choice, rest easy.
bruce.
Thanks Bruce, you may have been an influence on the decision.

I have Bob .35’s endorsement on the choice of chambering but I’m not sure he stated it in open forum. :A Stirring:

I have paid deposit on a .25-06 and plan to rebarrel it as .280ai

It’s been interesting reading and discussion, and it is slowly coming together.

I won’t be hunting as high and hard as these blokes but im interested in a lightweight build as I have a lightweight stock.
 

CBH Australia

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I think that 275Rigby with bullet 10,5g/162gr would be enough.
That would be a perfect chambering for a Rigby Highland Stalker and quite at home on plains game in Africa. Not something I would take in the weather these blokes hunt in.
 

Philip Glass

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i am looking at buying a new rifle which will mainly used for hunting sheep. i want the rifle to be light and to be really flat shooting since i may have to take shots out to 500 yards also if you have hunted sheep wat rifle did you use and why
thanks
I’ve hunted ibex more than sheep and have been using a 7mm Mag. I’ve had good luck with Barnes 160gr in this caliber. I also have a new 6.5 PRC that I believe is probably what I would recommend for you of all the new stuff out there. Reportedly it hits as hard as .300 Win at distance.
Philip
 

Foxi

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I have never hunted sheep (only mufflon), but chamois and deer and I spend lot of my time in the mountains.
I can tell you that the calibre is not so important, whether you have a .270 or 7mm Rem Mag. or similar.
What is important is that every gram in the mountain counts
Have a look at the following light weapons with carbon shafts:

Browning X Bolt Pro Carbon

Sako 85 CArbon light

Sako 85 Carbon Wolf

Savage 110 Ultralite

All within an acceptable price range and indestructible. Nearly.
In the mountains Im carrying my light Blaser K 95.
But when I would start new ,one of these weapons above would be the mine.

I doubt that an outfitter will let you shoot at 500 m
Wounded not found full price and the pain of the animal...............
Just my 2 cents
Foxi
p.s. the 6.5 creedmoor has a particularly good marketing department
 
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John McLaughlin

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I've hunted N American sheep six times and have four on the wall including a B&C Rocky (180 7/8). I've used my 270 Weatherby Mag for each hunt. All were one shot kills. My longest was 370+ yards, shortest maybe a bit over 100. I've used 150 gr Nosler Partitions, 150gr Hornady Interlocks and Win Failsafe 140 gr (no longer manufactured) of which I have a very good supply. Be prepared for wind on the hunt, always seems to be blowing sideways. JM
 

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I bought a Weatherby MK-V Backcountry Ti in 6.5Wby RPM from Weatherby's custom shop for use as a mountain rifle. It is very light, about 6-1/2 lbs.- mounted with a Swarovski Z5 3.5-18x44P. I have been shooting factory 127LRX ammo and it is chronographing at listed box speed but has more extreme spread than I would like. So far, overall, I am happy with it.
 

C.W. Richter

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Bansner's Ultimate Ovis in any Hot 6.5-7-30 (or even .338 if Argali!) using heavier for caliber, high BC/SD bullets and a scope calibrated for the cartridge (even some ballistic plex reticles line up perfectly for shots beyond 500.) Handloaded (or truly Custom-made) Ammo. Not a heavily marketed Needmore, but something that'll do the job at any angle. A 500 yd shot in a Quality rig is like shooting at 50 with a factory gun/ammo. You can go 700 if need be. A short action cartridge will keep the gun shorter/lighter. You only need a 14x scope for 500, so maybe a Burris Veracity 3-15x or your fav 4-14x (Longest shots made were with a Burris Fullfield II calibrated for the gun-not anything more expensive). 1" is fine-saves on weight, often mounted closer to the bore. IF you plan on using a factory rig, ensure it has a properly bedded stock (HS Precision,) and a quality trigger (Jewell, Timney, etc.) Some semi-custom factory rigs shoot quite well out of the box (Wby, etc.) 6.5-300 Wby ;) You don't need the 26" bbl if shooting only to 500 and I've found that the longer bbl often hits rocky shelves you may have to walk around...

'Made a .264-300 WSM cartridge 13 years ago and Mark Bansner the rifle. It has NEVER let us down (out to 720 yds in hunting situations.) 1" groups or less at 300 yds. Super light. 23" bbl (24 w/ the shorty brake.)

Sheep are rather thin-skinned. Not hard to kill at all. You just have to hit them in the right spot at any distance. Practice shooting the gun out to 500 on varmints in summertime using quality, adjustable bipods...

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Ryan

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I'm an amateur at sheep hunting, having taken a Dall sheep and a mouflon. I used a 30-06 with 150 grain Hornady Interbond bullets. No complaints out to 300 yards if needed, though neither shot was over 100. My rifle was a Thompson/Center Encore with a synthetic stock and a Leupold VXII Ultralight 3-9X, 33mm.That scope made a world of difference for weight and balance on that rifle. That said I know of a few very dedicated sheep and goat hunters. My coworker would be the most worldly. He has taken several Dall sheep and I think three mountain goats (one each this year) in Alaska and appears to be working on some kind of Ovis slam so he's been all over the world. His caliber of choice is a 7mm STW. Looking at the ballistics that round was created for reaching out to 500 yards and hitting with authority.
 

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If I ever decided to hunt sheep I'd take my Cooper 52 300H&H. Synthetic stock, fluted barrel, about 8.25 lbs with the scope. Reasonably light, very acccurate and hits with authority at distance. YMMV.
 

John McLaughlin

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I bought a Weatherby MK-V Backcountry Ti in 6.5Wby RPM from Weatherby's custom shop for use as a mountain rifle. It is very light, about 6-1/2 lbs.- mounted with a Swarovski Z5 3.5-18x44P. I have been shooting factory 127LRX ammo and it is chronographing at listed box speed but has more extreme spread than I would like. So far, overall, I am happy with it.
Swaros tend to have shorter eye relief than I like, I have a few half moon scars on my right eyebrow. My choice would be any top quality scope with 4 inches eye relief. JM
 

RR 314

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Same but .257 STW here. As mentioned, unlike the Weatherby, it is obviously a wildcat.
 

Professor Mawla

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My personal preference lies with the 7 mm Remington Magnum and 175 grain Remington Core Lokt soft nosed factory loads .
 

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I used my 7x57 loaded with 145 gr Speer SPBT on my dall sheep hunts in Alaska. It shoots plenty flat enough out to 400 (I think it was about as follows: +3””@100, +1”@200, -4”@300, -14”@400). It is an absolutely lethal load on dall sheep. I have absolutely zero experience on other sheep species.
 
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1dirthawker

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Harrison E,

i would choose a .264 caliber and up to 30 cal. i would pick a light weight rifle, I own a tikka t3 lite and am very happy with it. i think it would be hard to improve on a 270 or 280.

a variable scope (3-9 would be a good compromise) that is light in weight, plenty of magnification for the ranges you are talking about shooting to.

this would be my recommendation for any north american sheep. the marco polo is as noted above a bigger sheep and i suspect a 7mm and up would be a better choice for the larger sheep that it is.

good luck on your future hunt as noted above sheep hunting is addictive.

if you are looking for lightweight gear, i would recommend an outfit called "First lite" i have bought a bit of their gear, sleeping bags, rain gear, tent, etc and it is all high quality light weight and well thought out. if you pm me i can give you a contact person at the company to discuss what you want/need. thats what i did was talk to one of their guys and was VERY happy i did.
 

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I'm an amateur at sheep hunting, having taken a Dall sheep and a mouflon. I used a 30-06 with 150 grain Hornady Interbond bullets. No complaints out to 300 yards if needed, though neither shot was over 100. My rifle was a Thompson/Center Encore with a synthetic stock and a Leupold VXII Ultralight 3-9X, 33mm.That scope made a world of difference for weight and balance on that rifle. That said I know of a few very dedicated sheep and goat hunters. My coworker would be the most worldly. He has taken several Dall sheep and I think three mountain goats (one each this year) in Alaska and appears to be working on some kind of Ovis slam so he's been all over the world. His caliber of choice is a 7mm STW. Looking at the ballistics that round was created for reaching out to 500 yards and hitting with authority.
'Have an old VHS video of Jim Zumbo bighorn sheep hunting with his new (at the time) Win 70 in 30-06 (he wanted a 270 but the orders were backlogged at the time.) He bagged one at 500 yds because he practiced and knew the rifle well! 'Have a rem pump carbine 3006 that i'd shoot at 300 (w/ a 1-5x) if I had to, but it's not my preference for that sort of hunting...
 

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'Have an old VHS video of Jim Zumbo bighorn sheep hunting with his new (at the time) Win 70 in 30-06 (he wanted a 270 but the orders were backlogged at the time.) He bagged one at 500 yds because he practiced and knew the rifle well! 'Have a rem pump carbine 3006 that i'd shoot at 300 (w/ a 1-5x) if I had to, but it's not my preference for that sort of hunting...
The rifle can certainly do farther, but under field conditions 300 is generally my limit. My partner and I were looking over two rams for easily an hour at 300-teens range I could have taken had either ram been legal. We had a good spot to shoot prone from with not a trace of cover between us and them so that was it. They were bedded and the larger was even broadside. But it was not quite full curl. I got a great ram two days later.
 

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I have shot one sheep. Dall ram in the Yukon territory, 325 yards. .308 Winchester, 165gr. Nosler partition. It worked.
 

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